A 4-year-old Oklahoma boy had an arm completely ripped off by a pit bull while trying to pet some puppies at his grandparents’ home, according to police and his distraught mom.
Little Axel Foster lost his right arm after putting his hand inside a dog pen Friday night while being looked after by his dad’s parents in Tecumseh, police told KFOR.
Responding officers found him waiting outside with his grandmother, with the limb completely missing under the shoulder.
“The child’s arm was still in the pen,” Tecumseh Police Chief JR Kidney told the outlet.
“When officers and animal control attempted to retrieve the arm, the dog became aggressive to them,” he said.
One of the responding officers, Aaron McCormick, wrote in the police report that he “could see the arm inside, and one of the puppies was trying to chew on it.”
One of the dogs was shot and killed as officers tried to recover the arm, police said.
Foster’s mom, Destiny McDow, said they “raced to the hospital,” but surgery to reattach her son’s arm was unsuccessful. She’d earlier said in an online fundraiser that the boy was “fighting not only to keep his arm but his life.”
“How could this happen?” she asked KFOR, saying her son was supposed to be in his father’s care.
Police and city officials are investigating whether the youngster was supervised at the time of the grisly attack. If not, his grandparents — who were not identified — could face child neglect charges, the police chief said.
“I’m hoping it was simply an accident that the child was able to get to the pen, but we will look at everything,” Kidney said.
The top cop said he had witnessed “some pretty brutal dog bites” before “but never a complete amputation.”
“To be over just an innocent-type thing of wanting to pat some puppies, it’s just devastating,” he said.
“What kind of Christmas is this child gonna have now? What kind of life, in general, is this child gonna have now?”